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04/03/2024

Construction Contract Re-Tendered For Cliffs Pavilion Refurb Project

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Southend-On-Sea Council has re-tendered the construction contract for the Cliffs Pavilion refurbishment project.

This is after costs submitted in Willmott Dixon's tender submission were deemed too high and outside of the project budget.

The council entered into a pre-construction agreement with the national construction and property services company late last year. It was intended to enter into a full contract with them subject to planning approval, an agreed cost plan and agreed works programme. Planning approval was secured in October 2023.

Cllr Derek Jarvis, cabinet member arts, culture, heritage, and leisure, said: "We must ensure this important project is delivered on budget. We have been assessing options and worked with our independent project cost consultant who believe that the project is deliverable within the allocated amount.

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"We have therefore quickly got on with a new open tender, which if successful will delay the start of construction, which we currently estimate would be by up to four months.

"The Cliffs Pavilion Theatre is one of Southend's key venues for culture, arts and events and this work will ensure that we reinforce its position as one of the top ten regional theatres in the country.

"The expansion and upgrade will also help us to secure the future success of the Cliffs Pavilion, in the hopes of benefiting from larger touring shows and bringing larger audiences to the city whilst also benefitting our local economy."

The refurbishment of the main bar will be taken forward as a separate contract utilising the Council match funding and will start once the main works are completed in 2025.

Over £8m is set to be invested into the theatre, which will see the major expansion of the restaurant, a new entrance and lobby to improve the customer experience, upgraded ventilation, a new outdoor piazza and several other improvements to the bars, toilets, lifts and other areas.

The theatre will remain open throughout the works.

£5.5m of the project is being funded through Round 1 of the Levelling Up Fund announced by Government on 27 October 2021, with additional investment from the City Council and Trafalgar Entertainment.

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